JETHRO TULL - The Broadsword And The Beast (40th Anniversary Edition)

September 19, 2023, 7 months ago

(Rhino / Parlophone)

Greg Prato

Rating: 8.5

review classic rock rarities jethro tull

JETHRO TULL - The Broadsword And The Beast (40th Anniversary Edition)

It seems like most veteran rockers from the '60s and '70s had a bit of a difficult time finding comfortable footing in the '80s. And while some artists were able to eventually re-carve out their niche (ZZ Top, Heart, Aerosmith, etc.), a few seemed to stumble a bit, or, became too mesmerized by technology – especially when compared to their earlier classic work. Jethro Tull's fourteenth studio album overall, The Broadsword And The Beast, is an example of this – as it spotlights both a Fairlight CMI and synthesizer, as well as a squeaky clean production courtesy of a former Yardbird, Paul Samwell-Smith. 

And while 1982 would have marked the album's 40th anniversary, for some reason the album's expanded reissue arrived a year later…but who's complaining? Now available as either a 40th Anniversary Monster Edition or 40th Anniversary Vinyl Edition, fans will now get an opportunity to enjoy the album all over again – with oodles of extra material added. 

Musically, the album remains probably their best of the '80s – but it's hard not to wonder what tunes such as “Beastie,” “Fallen On Hard Times,” “Broadsword,” and “Pussy Willow” would have sounded like with say, an Aqualung-styled production. 

But for long time fans and collectors of Tull, this box set is an absolute must-have, as both versions include a Steven Wilson remix of the album and a booklet (which varies in length in the vinyl and CD versions), while the CD version contains the DVD Live in Germany 1982 (in hi-res stereo and 4.1 surround sound), among other sonic surprises and toe-tapping treats.

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